UFC 232 is moving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on six days notice after Jon Jones had an abnormal drug test result that forced a massive change to the card.
UFC president Dana White announced the news on ESPN on Sunday that a USADA drug test administered on Dec. 9 triggered a positive result for trace amounts of Turinabol, the same substance that Jones tested positive for last year following a fight against Daniel Cormier.
UFC officials claim that a minuscule amount was discovered in Jones’ sample. A determination was then made that the positive test wasn’t triggered by Jones taking the drug again but rather a residual amount leftover from his previous positive drug test in 2017.
According to the UFC, USADA would not punish Jones for the positive drug test but the Nevada State Athletic Commission didn’t feel comfortable moving ahead with his fight as scheduled against Alexander Gustafsson on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas.
The Nevada Commission released a statement a short time ago confirming plans to hold a hearing regarding Jones’ doping history in January.
“Today, Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Bob Bennett announced that, in consultation with NSAC Commission Chair Anthony Marnell, III, unarmed combatant Jon Jones will be allowed to withdraw his pending application for licensure, which was intended to clear him to fight in a major contest in Nevada later this month,” the Nevada Commission said in a statement sent to MMAWeekly.
“After extensive analysis of Mr. Jones’ prior 18 months of USADA in- and out-of-competition anti-doping drug testing results, Director Bennett, Chair Marnell, and Mr. Jones agree that he will appear at an evidentiary hearing in January. This will allow for a measured, thoughtful, and comprehensive discussion of his anti-doping testing protocol and results and provide an opportunity for the NSAC to determine the appropriate path forward for him in Nevada. We look forward to his hearing.”
While Nevada would not allow the fight to move forward, the California State Athletic Commission decided to sanction Jones and the fight to take place at The Forum in Inglewood, California (just outside of Los Angeles) next weekend.
California just recently held a hearing that allowed Jones to get his license back after his previous failed drug test in July 2017 and because of their familiarity with his situation, they felt comfortable sanctioning the fight given the recent test results.
Jones will face no sanction from USADA as a result of the abnormal drug test after they suspended him 15 months for his previous infraction of the UFC’s anti-doping policy.
UFC 232 will move forward with Jones vs. Gustafsson as the headliner but there’s been no word from the UFC on ticket sales for the event now that it’s moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.